Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review of The Revenge of the Dead Enemy, by Marva Dasef

I haven't been blogging lately because of my recent surgery -- no enthusiam left for anything.  However, Marva Dasef, who has become one of my most devoted fans, posted a review on Dec. 19 (one day after the surgery) of the final Ki'shto'ba volume.  It's a great review (5 star) and I'm sorry I am only just getting around to sharing it here. See the original on Amazon, Goodreads, or Smashwords.  (And Marva is a really good writer herself.  See her books, including many in audio format, at Amazon.)
I'm a Termite Lover for Life
So you think you can't empathize with a giant termite? We've had many insectoid and arachnid heroes in literature. Consider "Charlotte's Web." If you didn't get teary-eyed when Charlotte died, then you must have a heart of stone. Other stories empathetic toward multi-legged creatures: Ant Bully, It's a Bug's Life, Bee Story. I'm sure there are others. I don't usually seek out books about bugs, but I could come up with these examples in a few seconds.

So, what about the entire epic journey "The Labors of Ki'sh'toba: Volumes 1-6?" I have previously reviewed 1-5, not to mention the 2-volume "Termite Queen" saga. I liked them...a lot. I continually complained about the difficult names, places, and concepts with the conlang (constructed language) of the Termite world. Too many apostrophes and a bunch of other punctuation I have no clue how to pronounce.

I will complain no more. I still can't pronounce 90% of the termite language, but I can visually recognize the names of the main characters. All have become familiar and lovable in their own ways. Di'fa'kro'mi, the Remembrancer (story teller) is quite an adept author considering he had to invent a written language in which to tell the tales. I know, the real Remembrancer is Lorinda Taylor, but she is such a wonderful writer, I was immersed in the stories as if they were really told by Di'fa'kro'mi.

As I did when first reading "Charlotte's Web," I wept over the death of some of my favorites throughout the entire six volumes. I cried for termites? Yes, I did, and I'm not ashamed.

The entire tale of Ki'shto'ba and his labors (modeled on the Greek Hercules myth) is hard to get into, but an epic worthy of the difficulty of the journey.

I completely and thoroughly recommend the entire six volumes. But you might want to start with the Termite Queen books to allow yourself to ease into the idea of termite heroes.
Thanks, Marva!  I appreciate it so much! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Another New Review! The Storm-Wing, This Time!

Adam Walker (my good conlanging buddy) has posted a review of The Storm-Wing over on Goodreads.  He liked it a lot!   Thank you, Adam!  Read the text below.
[Also, all my books are FREE right now with Smashwords coupons.  See my blog Ruminations of a Remembrancer for the codes.  Hurry -- limited time offer!]
       This is the second volume in Ms. Taylor's epic (in every sense of the word!) retelling of the Hercules myths. Perhaps retelling is not quite the right word here. Perhaps resetting would be better. What Ms. Taylor has done, and done very well with great cleverness and whimsy, is to take the epic mythos surrounding Hercules, the Twelve Labors and a number of the other less well-know stories surrounding this most popular of Greek heroes, and recast them in another world with extraterrestrials in all the starring roles.
       Her Shshi are giant, intelligent (and funny!) termite people. So right off you know there will be much adapting of the stories to fit with a completely alien biology. For instance, the warrior caste of the Shshi are, like the warriors of Earthly termites, non-sexed beings, several of Hercules more sexually charged exploits are not appropriate to the biology and culture of the Shshi. Ms. Taylor also takes the liberty of working in retellings of other epic tales of daring-do. This volume includes a very clever retelling of the Beowulf story, which fits perfectly with the surrounding Herculean material.
       If you like well-thought-out extraterrestrial, complete with cool cultures and languages, this book has it. If you enjoy the epic tales of yore, this book has it. If you enjoy humor mixed with your epic battles and fierce single combat, this book has it.
       There are so many reasons to pick this book up, and none to put it down!